Expert Review: Marker Jester 16 ID Ski Bindings · 2023

Published on 03/23/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.
Chauncey Allison, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Chauncey Allison

Marker jester binding on the K2 Pettitor. All photos courtesy of Chauncey Allison

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.

My take

The Marker Jester 16 ID Ski Binding is a tried, true, and tested staple built for aggressive, expert-level skiers looking for immediate power delivery and response. Constructed from high density magnesium, these bindings have a stout and durable feel on the ski that will last for years to come.

showing off the new sticks

About the bindings I own

  • 2023 Marker Jester 16 ID Ski Bindings

About me

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 210 lbs
  • Preferred DIN range: 10–14
  • Experience: 30 years of skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: October 2021
  • Days tested: 40 days
  • Boots: Salomon SPRO 130 and Tecnica Mach1 130
  • Boot Size: 28.5
  • Skis: K2 Reckoner, Blizzard Bonafide, K2 Mindbender
  • Where I’ve used it: Montana, Utah, Colorado, Washington, Idaho
  • Terrain: High-speed groomers, variable “chopped” conditions, powder, park, skiing with my daughter

How they perform

Power Transfer
Release Reliability

What I was looking for

As a bigger guy (6’3” and 210 pounds), a binding with the ability to crank DIN upwards of 15–16 is fantastic. Just from build alone, I’m already in need of a stout binding that ensures a confident power delivery while also continuing to be reliable in their release. Coupled with being an aggressive, “nose over the tips,” adrenaline-seeking-type skier, I needed a binding that I didn’t have to think about once I clicked in. All of this considered, I still wanted something that was durable, long lasting, and not a brick of concrete on my feet.

Picture Chutes, Big Mountain, Whitefish, MT

Why I chose this gear

I ended up choosing the Marker Jester binding because of the stout and durable construction coupled with the long-standing confidence that Marker has established through years of being number one in the industry. Magnesium components keep the binding light but so strong. High-density, durable plastics that I’ve trusted for years continue to provide a platform of consistent durability. I’ve tested and owned the Salomon Warden 13, the Salomon STH 16, and the Look Pivot 14 and 16s. I continually chose the Royal Family from Marker Bindings as they provide a confident, easy setup in forward pressure as well as having a mechanical and sliding AFD (Anti Friction Device). These bindings check every box as an aggressive skier; durable, strong, lightweight (compared to the Jester Pro), and a confident, reliable, and smooth release with the sliding AFD. The Marker Jester binding is the binding I don't think about the second I click in, and that's what I look for in a binding.

Jumps, dips and dodges - always confident with that Marker Jester binding

Deep Daze, Whitefish, MT

What I love about them

  • Release Reliability: The mechanical and sliding AFD on the Jester allows me to have a smooth, non-popping release from the binding when needed. It’s absolutely one of the reasons this binding has become a staple in my quiver.
  • Downhill Performance: Energy transfer is unmatched thanks to the strong horizontal spring in the toe and the visible and massive-vertical spring in the heel. I can throw all of my weight into any ski with this platform.
  • Durability: I consider this, and many of the members of the Royal Family from Marker, to be “apocalypse bindings.” In simpler terms, these bindings will last me longer than I want them to. The high-density plastic and magnesium components make for one of the most durable and long-lasting platforms I’ve seen in the industry.
  • Power Transfer: Industry-leading, forward-thinking attributes like the wide, low-set toe and the wider bolt patterns give the Marker Jester the space and capacity for unmatched power transfer, whether ripping groomers at speed or pointing the skis down technical, variable terrain.
  • Other: An often overlooked but highly requested technology is that of the “ice scraper toe piece.” This lifted, metal barring across the toe piece is designed to not only break any ice off the bottom of the boot, but it truly does scrape. I’ve been very impressed with its ease of use and durability despite smacking my boots against it hundreds of times.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Weight: Though slightly heavier than some of its competitors, the Jester puts that weight to use in intentional ways. The very small increase in weight puts this binding into a higher class for durability and on-snow performance. However, a beginner or intermediate skier wouldn’t reap the same benefits as an expert, energetic skier and could definitely go for a lighter model.

First Deep Days on the K2 Reckoner

Favorite moment with this gear

It’s hard to nail down one favorite moment in these bindings. Whether it's dropping the biggest cliffs of my life or skiing faster than I ever thought I would—or even could—the Marker Jester has been holding me to the sticks in a solid and confident fashion. One moment in particular that stands out is my first day with the Marker Jester on my frontside groomer skis. It was a bluebird day at Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana. I was lucky enough to get to shoot some sunrise photos on fresh corduroy with the media team at Whitefish Mountain Resorts. I was skiing the Blizzard Bonafide with a brand-new pair of Marker Jester bindings. I had skied the Bonafide previously with the Salomon STH 16 and though the binding is solid, I had an issue with the toe height adjustment and the binding was always loose in my mind. The Jesters were in place, and I was excited to see what kind of energy I could get into these metal-ladened sticks. From the first turn, I could tell the immediate difference. I was so excited about the binding and the energy that I was able to transfer and the ease with which I could do it, but I had to remember that there was a photographer, and I had to look coooooooool. I was a giddy little kid who just skied the most beautiful corduroy I'd ever seen on the fastest skis I’d ever skied and finally held in confidently by the Marker Jester Binding.

Value for the money vs. other options

Yes, these are expensive bindings, but the durability, confidence, and longevity one receives from Marker bindings in general, specifically the Jester, is unmatched.

As mentioned above, there are comparable models in energy, rigidity, response, weight, and price. The Salomon STH 16 has been a long-standing, high-selling binding in the category for a long time. I found the Jester from Marker to be more solidly built and have less variability for failure when compared to the STH 16 from Salomon.

Final verdict

I’m a big guy who skis aggressively and doesn't want to think about my gear when it's on my feet. The Marker Jester binding, in my expert opinion, is the piece of gear that allows me to ski the way the guy in my head wants to ski. It doesn't matter what the conditions are—or what ski is on my feet—I know the energy is going to the sticks when I decide it should. I know that I can control my widest powder skis with just my big toes. I know I can put the tips anywhere I want, whenever I want, because of the power and response these bindings offer. They’re one of the most critical pieces of my setup. Period.

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